THE parents of Tim Parry today said they had "given up" hope that the perpetrators of the Warrington IRA bomb blast which killed their son would ever be brought to justice.
They also said only Tim could forgive those responsible.
Colin and Wendy Parry were speaking as they prepared to mark the 20th anniversary of the atrocity, which claimed the lives of Tim, 12, and three-year-old Johnathan Ball.
Tim was shopping for a football strip when he was caught in the blast which tore though Warrington town centre on March 20, 1993.
Mr and Mrs Parry said Tim was a boy who "epitomised a young man who loved life".
Mrs Parry, 55, said: "He was very sporty, very energetic and he wanted to do absolutely everything."
"He played squash with his dad, he played football for the school, he was having golf lessons, he was having guitar lessons."
Mr Parry, 66, added: "He was always cheerful and often funny."
Everton FC supporter Tim had travelled into town that day to buy a pair of goal-keeping shorts after saving a penalty when he played in goal for his school football team a few days earlier.
His father said: "He set off with £11 in his pocket, which wouldn’t even then have bought the shorts - they were £19 - so he actually didn’t have enough money.
"But for that fateful penalty, had it never been saved, life would have been very different."
Nobody was ever prosecuted for the bombing and, in Mrs Parry’s words, it means the couple "don’t have a face" to confront.
Mr Parry, 66, said: "For 20 years all we have known is that the IRA did it, an amorphous, anonymous body with a name and a cause.
"But we have not had specific faces or names of people, maybe people with families and children, which would have been a whole different set of circumstances to cope with.
"The pursuit of justice is not an issue for us and we have long since given up any idea of that ever happening."
Asked about forgiveness, Mrs Parry added: "We have always said that if anyone is to forgive them it would be Tim – and obviously Tim is not here."
Mr Parry added: "If they truly recognised the enormity of what they had done, and if it was genuine remorse, it can move people. But all of that is highly unlikely."
In the aftermath of the tragedy the couple, who have two other children, devoted their lives to the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation For Peace, which provides conflict resolution and support for victims of terrorism around the world.
Mr Parry said the charity was crucial in helping them cope with Tim’s death.